WHO IS ………..CARTRIDGEMONKEY.COM

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WHO IS ………..CARTRIDGEMONKEY.COM

 user 2008-03-21 at 11:34:53 am Views: 62
  • #21522

    Monkey makes jump to being ‘serious player’
    Cartridge
    and printer supplier manages to quadruple sales with same number of
    staffGary Flynn’s first five years as a company director have at times
    proved to be a little uncomfortable. The 39-year-old managing director
    of web retailer Net Giant has had to contend with an industry giant
    peeved at how the Bolton-based firm sold generic ink cartridges at much
    lower prices than branded product. He has also had to contend with the
    dissolution of his business partnership with co-founder Keith
    Scott.However, the company he started from his dining room table in
    2003 has prospered to the point where he expects to turn over £3.7m
    this year and is just about to relocate to a new 2,000 sq ft unit it
    has purchased at Rok Group’s Atherleigh Business Park in Westhoughton.

    Monkey business
    The
    company is best known for its main trading site, Cartridge Monkey,
    which provides ink cartridges to home users. Flynn, whose background is
    in large format print, said that he continued to work full time until
    September 2003 and only moved into proper premises in April 2004.“There
    was a big market in third-party manufactured products which is where we
    really started as a business. We could access the product easily and
    there wasn’t a lot of cash outlay,” he said.However, despite racking up
    almost £1m in sales within its first 12 months in the unit, the firm
    decided to diversify and offer branded cartridges.“We were a one-trick
    pony and at that time there was pressure coming on us from the
    manufacturers. They were suggesting that these cartridges infringed
    patents and it became clear to us that we needed to broaden our
    horizons.”He said the move into branded products allowed it to become
    “a more serious player in the consumables market”.The firm also started
    supplying toner to business customers and launched the Toner Giant site
    in November 2006. However, he and Scott disagreed on strategy so Flynn
    bought out his partner last March.“It was very amicable…Well, it was
    reasonably amicable. Keith got a sum of money he was happy with and my
    wife came into the company as a director. Since then, the business has
    changed dramatically.”The firm has since significantly altered its
    business model. Instead of sending out cartridges itself, it has
    tailored a software system which receives an order and automatically
    places it with a preferred supplier based on a number of factors
    including availability, cost price and reliability of the supplier.
    Once the order is placed, it is sent directly from the distributor or
    supplier.“We decided to concentrate on the marketing, the website,
    customer services and post-sales.”As a result, he argues, the firm is
    much more efficient — employing the same number of people now it
    generates run rate turnover of £4m as it did when annual sales were
    £1m.It has also expanded relatively painlessly into other areas. The
    firm has just started selling Epson, HP and Canon printers and Flynn
    said digital photo frames and other electrical goods will follow. He
    also intends to take on more staff in order to bring web design and
    development work in-house.He said: “We’ve used various agencies along
    the way and some have been great but some cost an awful lot of money.
    There’s no guarantee at the end of it, and you don’t gain the
    expertise.”A spokesman for Epson, which has carried out some joint
    marketing initiatives with the firm, said that Net Giant’s move into
    providing printers was “a logical business extension for them”.The
    spokesman added: “Consumers, having purchased the printer from
    Cartridge Monkey, may well return to the site to purchase further ink
    supplies.”